2008 Kaedrin Movie Awards: Best Comedic Performance & Breakthrough Performance

The nominations for the 2008 Kaedrin Movie Awards were announced last week. This week, I’ll be announcing two winners every day, culminating in a post with my top 10 movies of the year and possibly some other wrap-up posts.

Best Comedic Performance: Jason Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

I had trouble with this category too. Unlike the last two years (winners were for Borat and Superbad), there really weren’t that many truly standout comedic performances this year. When I thought of the best comedic moments though, one scene in particular kept popping into my head, and that’s the first time Segal performs his song “Dracula’s Lament” to a stunned crowd in some random Hawaiian bar. Hysterical. Segal also shows a certain commitment to being funny that other nominees just didn’t have (this is, of course, code for something, but I don’t want to say what because a big part of why it’s funny is the shock). I considered giving the award to both Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott for Role Models, but I didn’t want to give another tie (which I did last year) and plus, Seann William Scott was also good in the underseen The Promotion (I guess the Kaedrin equivalent of splitting votes or something). Brad Pitt was one of the better things about Burn After Reading, but then I realized that I laughed the hardest at the scenes with J.K. Simmons and David Rasche, and they weren’t even nominated (perhaps they should have been). And Justin Long, while hilarious, has such a small part that he can’t seriously contend (this seems to be a common type of nomination – last year’s Kristin Wiig nomination was for similar reasons), but I also wanted to throw some love to another underappreciated movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Perhaps a new award is in order. The comedic cameo award or something. We’ll see. If there was one this year, Justin Long may have taken it home…

Breakthrough Performance: Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

This one was a lot easier to pick. I suppose it’s not a true “breakthrough” in that I already knew who Mila Kunis was from her role in That ’70s Show, but her performance here was a revelation. Miles apart from what I expected, it totally revised my view of her as an actress, which is more of a breakthrough than any of the other nominees managed. One of the requirements for this award is looking the person up on IMDB to see what else they’ve done or will be doing… and I started noticing Kunis in other places too. I knew she did the voice for Meg Griffin in Family Guy, but never really associated that with her… and I didn’t know just how much she was featured on Robot Chicken either. I even sat through American Psycho II: All American Girl when it came on TV (it’s, uh, not so great, as you’d probably expect). Alas, not much great stuff seems on the horizon for her… but she was great in Forgetting Sarah Marshall… Also worthy of note in this category is AJ Bowen, who was actually nominated for both this award and best villain/badass. His performance, especially during the hilarious second section of the movie, was great.

Next up: Most Visually Stunning and Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film